Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Sweet Trade of Self-Centeredness and Settlement

I stumbled on a quote the other day while reading one of Lesley Jane's editor letters. The Editor-in-Chief of More was having a bit of an identity crisis and was quoting a colleague, who had informed her that the minute you have a baby, your narcissism falls down the stairs and break its neck.

I have spent several moments in recent days thinking about this. Thinking about when my reasonable amount of healthy narcissism slipped on a banana peel and did the ten-banana-cream-pie header down those stairs. I am thinking she likely busted her bones long before I became "Jackson's mom". I think it's quite possible that she started her tumble when her terrified, but utterly smitten, heart was taken hostage. Sounds all piratey, doesn't it? And a bit romantic to me. I love pirates. Well...the garish vs. Somali kind.

However...if we're being brutally honest here, I think this identity crisis of my own likely happened when I just *yawn* kind of surrendered my creative heart to the daily grind of life in general. Jeez. The resurrected art and life lover in me (side note here: I have also happily discovered that this sense of self, like a zombie or cat, has more than one life. She might be down, but don't count the girl out...) wonders just when did naughty narcissism ever think it wise to half-hold up a limp wrist to weakly wave white and surrender the ego that fueled her own gaudy garish daydreams? To dream an other's? Where in the hell did my muse and my self go? (Davey Jones' locker comes to mind...)

Ugh. How simply ugly and lame to think of it that way, though. Almost seems like I didn't really have my own back during that time.

After mulling all of this over a bit (when not thinking about Mr. Depp in pirate gear) I have come to think the following: In the end, maybe it does all of our egos a smidge of good to surrender sometimes. I wouldn't want her to walk the plank into the drink again(as she did for what seemed like a good 8 years of my life). But maybe she should lay low in the galley once in awhile. Because I truly believe that this is also when any meaningful relationship (be it with your child, your friend, or the love of your life) might be at its absolute best. Finding incredible and defining loves in our life will never solve or even salve our problems as we often wish or falsely expect them to. Instead, at times, it compounds them. Relationships that are worth our while will challenge our narcissist to negotiate. To divvy the loot. To compromise. And at times, whether we like to admit it or not, to concede.